Saturday, March 7, 2009

repurpose your clutter!

Do you have assorted items throughout your home that you don't want to toss, but these items are also just sitting around taking up space? You would be surprised at what you can do with some of these things. Here are a few ways to give the things hanging around your house new life.

1. Who doesn't save lone socks thinking that they'll find the other sock sometime? Chances are you won't find it, so put the lone sock to good use. Ball up or knot the sock to make a dog toy. Or fill it with potpourri and make a sweet-smelling sachet for your sock drawer!

2. How about all the old and faded T-shirts you have collected taking up space in your closet and drawers? Start using them as rags and dusters. Cut them into squares and use them as baby wipes. If you like the art, make pillows or quilts using the T-shirts. Torn strips can be used to make braided rugs.

3. Many people like to save calendars because they love the pictures. Instead of hiding in a file drawer, calendars can be used in a number of different ways. First of all, they can be used for a variety of paper crafts, including scrapbooking (be sure to use an acid neutralizer if it's not acid-free), decoupage or laminate the pictures to make place mats. For larger calendars, cut up the pictures to make puzzles for your children. Or just put a picture you like in a frame and hang it on the wall.

4. The same goes for greeting cards. It's OK to save cards that are very sentimental to you, but what about all the other cards you have been saving and storing away? Reuse the cards by creating a brand new card. Use the picture on the front or parts of the picture and add a few embellishments to create a brand new card to give to someone.

5. Pantyhose will add up, but they can be costly and you hate to throw them away. A great place to use pantyhose is in the garden. Use those old pantyhose to tie plants to stakes. Pantyhose doubles as a soft buffing cloth which is excellent to use on many things, such as shoes and furniture. Pantyhose are also handy to use in purses to help them keep their shape when they are being stored. Cut the feet off old pantyhose and fill with cedar chips or potpourri and use in your closet to keep clothes smelling fresh.

6. Plastic bags usually add up faster than one can use them and before you know it, you have a large bag full of plastic bags. There are many ways to reuse plastic bags in addition to using them as liners for wastebaskets. Plastic bags are a great alternative to bubble wrap for use in packing dishes or other breakables when moving. Tie plastic bags around your shoes to use when walking through the garden to keep your shoes clean. Cover your plants with plastic bags to protect them from frost. You can also cut plastic bags and tack them down and use them as shelf liners.

7. Do you own several pairs of old jeans that you are finding hard to part with? Create something new and useful with them. Different types of denim can make a very decorative quilt. Cut the jeans and make a journal, photo album or school book cover. If you are really crafty, you can make a unique purse or tote out of old jeans. Cut the leg from a pair of jeans to make a tube shaped rice hot pack. Just fill with white rice and microwave until warm. These are great to ease aches and pains or to pre-warm the bed on a cold night.

8. Do you have furniture stored away that you don't want to sell or give away? Consider giving it new life by painting it a new color. Change the hardware. Be creative and think of other possible alterations or changes that can be done to the piece of furniture to make it useable in your home. Decorating books can give you great ideas to get you started.

9. Do you have a number of vintage pieces that you have stored away? Put them to use by putting them on display as well as using them for a purpose. Vintage containers (including kitchen canisters, covered dishes, jars) can be used to organize and store small items, such as change, jewelry, etc. Stacked vintage suitcases can be used as side tables and storage pieces. Vintage trays can make great wall decorations.

10. Many women have several purses in the closet and chances are they are not all being used. Perhaps one has a stain or a broken strap. If the purse is in good condition, there are ways you can put it to good use. Use an old clutch purse to store everything in that you need on a daily basis. It can then be easily removed and transferred from one bag to another. Also, you can use an unused old tote to hold your tax information. Tote bags are big enough to hold numerous files inside and keep papers organized. In addition, you can use a small purse for toiletries when you travel via car or train.

These are just a few ideas on how you can use the things you own that you are having a hard time getting rid of. Be creative and see what other uses you can come up with to use some of the other things you have around your home.

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